It’s only been a year in the makings of nail lacquer Floss Gloss LLC started by 23-year-old Coast Guard brat Janine Lee of Coronado, California, and already she sees promise in her passion. Getting ready for the Floss Gloss Pro Nail Lacquer initial launch scheduled for July 2012, Lee shares the process, goals and growth of her business as a designer and CEO.
“I’ve always been art inclined,” says Lee who keeps a stash of nail polish along side her nail bible the ‘Klutz Nail Art Book’. She started painting nails while attending California College of the Arts in San Francisco in 2008 where she then met her business partner and Co-Founder of Floss Gloss Ltd., Aretha Sack, along with fellow member and Co-Founder Monica Garza.
“There was an instant click and we started our company, Floss Gloss LLC, in 2011,” says Lee who continues to bartend fulltime on the side.
The upcoming Floss Gloss collection, located in San Francisco, will pull inspiration from 1970’s interior architecture, tracing back to Lee’s adoration for classic pieces.
“Floss Gloss for us is what we found lacking in the market. We started mixing colors and selling bottles in the painting studios at school,” says Lee: and that’s the hustle that sparked the brand. “Aretha sees color like no one I ever met. We just want girls like us everywhere to get the colors they want with superior quality.”
Floss Gloss continues tracking attention through social media like Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, intending on bringing awareness to the debut of their nail lacquer soon available for purchase online. And since Floss Gloss is a significantly indie-brand, it’s going to be a challenge against professional salon based formula companies like Ginger+Liz, Models Own, Butter London, OPI, Essie, and China Glaze who Lee perceives as competition. But the robust go-getter, Lee is willing to press forward.
“I keep up with trends and would consider myself fashion forward. I went to school for fashion design and try to stay abreast with what’s launching, what’s in and out. For personal use, I normally stick to my guns. I have my favorite brands for quality nail art application and I don’t mind using Floss Gloss Pro Nail Lacquer reject samples,” says Lee.
When it comes to Floss Gloss nail lacquer Lee stands behind her upcoming top coat which she says is to be better than Seche Vite, and is made without formaldehyde.
According to a report by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), there are nail polishes commonly found in California salons falsely advertising to be free of toxin chemicals but in fact contain toxins toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde, linked to the development of asthma.
“I wouldn’t put anything out without truly standing behind it as a nail addict and living in the Bay Area is very eco-conscious. It is very easy to find ‘organic’ or vegan brands like Zoya and SpaRitual. However, as a person who recently spent the last year building a nail lacquer through a private label manufacturer, I have a hard time saying organic. To me nail polish can be eco-conscious as in 3 free, no animal testing, less waste impact through manufacturing choices for example, but printing the word organic on a bottle of nail polish seems like an oxymoron. It’s still chemically based,” says Lee.
Starting a business is tough, but Lee is willing to take a risk in hopes of bringing a helpful service to the nail industry.
“If you see yourself or imagine yourself doing something ‘bigger’ than what you are doing now, try it out. Talk to people, network and reach out to your community. Stay positive and know it’s going to be hard,” says Lee who sees success as doing something with love and goals set forth.
“It’s reaching those goals, being happy however financially, aesthetically and sustainable as possible.”